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Postgame Notes #53: Hertl Scores a Pair, Sharks Edge Avs 3-2



Credit: Sheng Peng

Period 1

7 left: Small play, but great clear by Karlsson. Guys tired, need a chance, he sends it 200 feet with touch, avoids the icing.

5 left: It’s common for the Avs to start won OZ faceoffs with a winger going high then working the puck down. Creates confusion, three attackers high. Different than San Jose strategy off the OZ draw, which still seems to be to make sure Burns or Karlsson get the puck clean.

3 left: On that San Jose Sharks power play, Barabanov has it in slot, good-looking shooting opportunity, he passes. Wonder if that will be a long-term critique of his game, he definitely seems pass-first.

Per SPORTLOGiQ: Power play helped San Jose Sharks in that period, 4-2 Slot Shots (All Situations). On other hand, Colorado worked San Jose at 5-on-5, per Natural Stat Trick, 24-7 Corsi, 3-1 High-Danger.

Period 2

Opening shift: Makar just makes it look so easy. End-to-end rush through 3 San Jose Sharks forwards, then fires it between the 2 d-men. Have to say it: In contrast to Karlsson, where not a lot looks easy anymore.

4 in: Marvelous stretch pass by Karlsson to spring a partial Hertl breakaway. Brain and hands are still there with EK65, I think, but the skating waxes and wanes too much.

5 in: Ferraro and Burns get crossed up accepting rush. Looks like Burns has to rotate over, but he stays on his side.

7 in: San Jose Sharks luck out as MacKinnon heels a gimme royal road one-timer. Couple things happen here: Gregor has clear possession and a chance to move it well ahead, Kane waiting at opposite blueline. Don’t know if he misses pass, but he tosses a too soft pass up middle, easily intercepted, counterattack. Then Ferraro stays up when perhaps he should play more conservative, it’s a 2-on-1 for Avs.

5 left: Barabanov just eliminated by Jost at center ice. It’s been easily his least effective game so far. AB looking to make a play in NZ, but TJ just hurtles toward him. Puck goes other way, nobody picks up Jost on a rebound, goal, super shift from him. Ferraro was following Jost, then Ferraro looked to block shot-pass, and nobody switched on Jost. Bad work all around.

4 left: So we see what San Jose does off offensive faceoff. Puck won back to point, all the Sharks forward jockey for position in front, anticipating Burns’s shot.

Burakovsky goal: Stoppable, I think? It’s Gregor who loses one-on-one puck battle with Timmins, leads to 3-on-2 – Gregor is the third man high – but I don’t blame him entirely. Yes, he gets outmuscled, but in that situation, you’d like to see Gambrell or Labanc track back harder, recognize Gregor’s predicament. Even if Gregor doesn’t get tied up with Timmins, that’s still a 4-on-3 going the other way.

Gregor had the chance before that goal, his offensive game is a bit one note for me, to use NBA comparison, he’s that back-up point guard who comes in, whose game is pretty much just attack and kick it out or lay it up. Just think he still needs to add more layers – what he’s good at, he’s more than good enough at NHL level. Just needs a couple other decent tools in the box if his bread and butter not there.

Missed by clip: Fantastic indirect stretch pass by Burns, goes over the top of Colorado to Barabanov. That basically blows the top off Avalanche forecheck, a legitimate uncredited assist there.

San Jose Sharks still getting worked at 5-on-5 shot counter, Avs 16-8 shots, 28-13 Corsi – but they did win 5-on-5 High-Danger in middle frame, 5-4. That has been a focus area of Boughner’s, winning those areas.

Period 3

Hertl goal: But there’s San Jose scoring off OZ faceoff, Kane serving as third attacker high.

3 in: Loved Meier’s work on that shift, just using his body to create space for others. Even goes east-west instead of north-south to create avenue for Burns to walk down.

8 left: Korenar bangs his stick to signal end of PP, Ferraro gets right in front of stretch pass to Burakovsky out of box. There’s a reason why goalies do that.

5 left: Nice corner puck battle win for Knyzhov versus Jost.

4 left: Insistent forecheck by Kane on Timmins, kills time.

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